The Philadelphia Police Department is firing two city police officers for illegally detaining a man earlier this year and falsifying paperwork, the PPD announced Thursday.
Following an internal investigation, Officer Matthew Walsh and Officer Marvin Jones were arrested Wednesday and charged with criminal conspiracy, false imprisonment, tampering with records, obstructing administration of law, and official oppression.
Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross has suspended Walsh and Jones for 30 days with the intent to dismiss them at the end of that period.
Authorities said the two officers stopped and frisked the unidentified man on April 17 and searched his vehicle without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, put him in handcuffs for 15 minutes, and later released him without charges.
According to the officers’ paperwork, the man was stopped for “apparently using narcotics” and was frisked because he failed to take his hands out of his pockets, but Captain Sekou Kinebrew says video evidence contradicted that account.
“The video demonstrated that the officers wouldn’t have been in position to observe whether or not the man was using narcotics or not at the time they approached him,” Kinebrew said. “The video also revealed that the male citizen was cooperative. During the entire exchange and so this idea that he was refusing to show his hands is not substantiated, in fact contradicted by what we see in the video.”
The man later filed a complaint and an internal affairs investigation concluded that neither of the officers could have seen the man using narcotics. The interaction was caught on surveillance video, which showed that the man was fully compliant at the time of the stop, authorities said. Internal affairs also found that the officers failed to report that during their search, they removed a prescription pharmaceutical from the man’s pocket.
Based on the surveillance, authorities said the two officers falsified their report.
This is a developing story and will be updated.